Atlanta Protesters repeatedly interrupted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during a speech Thursday and one man, a former CIA analyst, accused him of lying about Iraq prewar intelligence in an unusually vociferous display of anti-war sentiment.
"Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?" asked Ray McGovern, the former analyst, during a question-and-answer session.
"I did not lie," shot back Rumsfeld, who waved off security guards ready to remove McGovern from the hall at the Southern Center for International Studies.
With Iraq war support remaining low, it is not unusual for top Bush administration officials to encounter protests and hostile questions. But the outbursts Rumsfeld confronted Thursday seemed beyond the usual.
Three protesters were escorted away by security as each interrupted Rumsfeld's speech by jumping up and shouting anti-war messages. Throughout the speech, a fourth protester stood in the middle of the room with his back to Rumsfeld in silent protest. Officials reported no arrests.
Rumsfeld has been interrupted by anti-war demonstrators in congressional hearing rooms as he has delivered testimony to lawmakers in recent months, and at some speeches across the country.
President Bush seldom faces such challenges. Demonstrators usually are kept far from him at public events.